By: Connor Sheldon, First Year Career Track MBA Student
A January 2013 Harvard Business Review article titled “Social Impact Investing Will Be the New Venture Capital” predicted the investment Carnival Corporation is making in the uninhabited impact travel sector.
Fathom, the tenth and newest brand of Carnival Corporation, is pioneering the realm of impact travel. Adhering to social impact methodologies, starting in June, Fathom will transport cruise passengers to the Dominican Republic to experience a different kind of cruise that combines the love of travel with the desire to make a difference in the world.
I had the opportunity to test-drive and provide feedback on the implementation of the Fathom business model, which seamlessly acted to unite my passion for travel and exploration with social impact projects. From my experience, traveling with Fathom to the Dominican Republic provides opportunity to address social challenges such as poverty, lack of access to clean drinking water, and attrition rates in schools. By collaborating with local organizations to work on various projects, including reforestation, building water filtration systems, and teaching English in primary schools, I was truly humbled.
The greatest lesson I took away from the journey was that people are the same no matter where they are in the world. I was shown compassion and generosity from individuals who, compared to standards in the US, had very little to give. My call to action was to improve my commitment as a consistent volunteer in my local community and to maximize my impact in the city I live in. The raw and organic interactions I experienced in the Dominican Republic illustrated the importance of reinvesting in my own community personally and professionally to be a catalyst for long-term social, environmental, and economic prosperity.
Fathom is just the starting point of supporting to the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Eventually, the ideals and values Fathom upholds could permeate all of Carnival Corporation. Impact travel is merely the tip of the iceberg; individuals have to be the change they wish to see in the world.